Archive for the ‘Practice’ Category

— 2019 — Jul 4

Approaches & Enclosures

by Anton Schwartz

These melodic devices have been a mainstay of jazz lines ever since bebop. This article presents them, discusses how & why they work and why we need to single them out for practice, and gives a sequence of exercises for integrating them into our ears and fingers to use for improvisation. [read more]

— 2019 — Apr 10

Better Than Practicing in 12 Keys

by Anton Schwartz

Practicing music in all 12 keys is a time-tested way to integrate musical ideas into your vocabulary. Here’s a variant on the approach that not only ensures that you learn the material at a deeper level that’s more useful for improvisation, but actually speeds up the learning process too. [read more]

— 2017 — Feb 3

Practicing Slow II: What Video Games Teach Us

by Anton Schwartz

Here’s another compelling reason why musicians ought to practice slowly. To understand it best, consider an analogy to video games. Not playing them… designing them. [read more]

— 2017 — Jan 5

Unlikely Inspiration from Coltrane

by Anton Schwartz

An early recording from John Coltrane is inspiring because it so compellingly debunks any notion that he was born to be a musical genius. His brilliance was hard won through intense practice. [read more]

— 2016 — Jul 26

Practicing Slow

by Anton Schwartz

Here’s a tip for when you’re trying to improve your improvisation but you’re stuck: Learn to play so it sounds like you’re moving through molasses. Let me explain how & why it works… [read more]

— 2015 — Aug 12


by Anton Schwartz

An extremely useful word for something we’re all familiar with. [read more]

— 2014 — Jun 20

Back-to-Front Learning

by Anton Schwartz

A host of compelling reasons why it’s more efficient and effective to practice sequences of new material in reverse order. [read more]

— 2013 — Jun 23

Random Roots

by Anton Schwartz

It is vital to practice in every key. But, for many purposes, the convenient ways of going through the twelve keys—chromatically or in the circle of fifths—have significant disadvantages. Here is an alternate method. [read more]

— 2012 — Jul 26

Transcribing Jazz Solos

by Anton Schwartz

Most jazz musicians recognize the enormous value of transcribing solos, but relatively few go about it in a way that lets them milk that value. This post contains many pointers, as well as a step by step example. [read more]

— 2012 — Jan 23

Jazz Etude 1

by Anton Schwartz

Here is an etude I wrote that I use with various masterclasses I teach. The etude fits nicely on the saxophone, and can be used for other instruments as well. It’s a line written over two choruses of blues—a good vehicle for dealing with articulations, inflections and the like. [read more]

ScaleMate App


ScaleMate is the interactive app for visualizing scales. It shows you scales in ways that make their harmonic qualities apparent, while playing you the sounds you see. Choose from its library of scales or use it as a playground to create on your own.

Average App Store rating:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★  5.0 out of 5

Watch the short video… or visit


Random Roots App


Random Roots is a groundbreaking practice app I've created for players looking to deepen their musicianship and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their practice. Guaranteed that you've never experienced anything like it.

Average App Store rating:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★  4.8 out of 5  (100+ reviews)

To learn more and download it for free, visit